Base Plays

 

 

These aren’t the only plays, but these are the two essential plays that I will be referring to. Later, I will be explaining how Bucksweep and Belly are used to set up the defense, and how the complimentary plays for each are used to attack defensive adjustments. This section is to help you understand the base plays as a foundation. There are rules for each player, and (of course) exceptions to the rules. The explanation for each play that follows will give you the basic concept for each play.


Bucksweep
: The Bucksweep is an off tackle sweep play, most often run to the TE side. The HB is the ballcarrier, the FB fakes Trap up the middle, and the QB, rolls out (Waggles out) to the SE side, thus you can potentially have runners attacking both flanks and up the middle. You can see how the backfield action of the Bucksweep sets up complimentary plays.

Below, it is diagrammed against a 44 defense and a 52 defense.

BUCKSWEEP vs. 44 DEFENSE

Bucksweep v 44

BUCKSWEEP vs. 52 DEFENSE

Bucksweep v 52

 

Basically, the WB, TE, and TT all block down (inside), and the TG pulls to the TE side and kicks out the first man at the flank. The C reaches playside (TE side in this case) against the 52 defense, to help the TT prevent any defensive penetration of the area vacated by the TG. Versus the 44 or a 43, the C will block back on the defensive tackle. The SG pulls playside and turns upfield once he gets past the WB’s down block. The SG is looking to hit anyone who would be flowing toward the point of attack (POA), like a LB. The ST tries to block the backside LB if he flows toward the POA. If not, he climbs to a S.

 

In the backfield, the FB fakes the FB Trap play, aiming for the backside (weak side, in this case) heel of the C. He will look to block anyone who might be penetrating the area vacated by the pulling SG. The HB, aims for the FB’s heels and receives the ball from the QB as he passes outside him. He stays at FB depth until he reaches the WB’s down block, which is approximately where the TE was before the snap. The HB makes a ninety degree cut (see diagrams) and cuts right off of the WB’s rear end, close enough to brush him as he passes by.

 

There is a block IN at the hole (WB), a block OUT at the hole (TG) and a block leading THROUGH the hole (SG). Many coaches believe that the Bucksweep is too “expensive,” and truly it is not easy to install. Still, many Wing-T coaches see the play as the foundation of the offense and would never let it go.

 

Specific rules for Bucksweep:

Split Tackle: backer to cutoff (rip toward playside)

Split Guard: pull and wall off

Center: Reach – Area – Away (reach playside vs. an odd front; block back, or away, vs. an even front)

Tight Guard: pull and kick out (first free defender past the WB’s block)

Tight Tackle: Gap – Read Down

Tight End: Gap – Down – Backer

WB: Gap – Down – Backer

FB: Aim for C’s backside heel and block A gap; fake Trap

HB: ball carrier; aim for FB’s heels, receive handoff, 90 degree cut off of WB’s block

QB: reverse pivot over the midline, fake to FB, hand off to HB, waggle out to the SE side with eyes to the flank

SE: run Waggle route (or stalk block the Corner or go to the cutoff; I prefer the Waggle route, as it will help the QB see the Corner and (possibly) the Safety’s reaction to the route)

**My OL rules come from Tom Herman. My RB/QB rules come from my interpretation of instructions by Gerry Gallagher and Dave McDonald.

 

 

 

Belly: The Belly, also known as the Belly XB (Cross Block), is an isolation play, most often run to the SE side. The QB reverses out toward the SE side, the HB starts with a jab/fire step toward the SE side, and the FB takes steps toward the SE side prior to receiving the handoff. In the meantime, the WB often comes in motion toward the SE side. (It may be flat motion, jet motion, or rocket motion.)

 

Below, it is diagrammed against a 44 defense and a 52 defense.

BELLY vs. 44 DEFENSE

Belly v 44

BELLY vs. 52 DEFENSE

Belly v 52

 

At the point of attack, the traditional way of running Belly has a cross block, or “XB.” (See the area circled with a red circle on each diagram.) The ST blocks down (or on, if no one is down), and the SG pulls and kicks out the first man past the ST. 1 (See blocking at the bottom of the page.) The C, TG, and TT all basically block down (inside), cutting off potential backside penetration by the defense. The TE’s runs inside, looking for a LB, and heading to the cutoff

 

After the ST and SG have established the hole, the HB leads through. He takes a jab step out (faking Belly Keep Pass) and then leads through the hole, looking for the first LB from the Center. Think of this as an isolation play, with the HB
blocking for the FB. As with Bucksweep, we have the classic block IN at the hole (ST), a block OUT at the hole (SG) and a block leading THROUGH the hole (HB). The WB goes in Jet (or Rocket) motion at a full sprint, faking receiving the ball. The QB reverses out well over the midline so that he is pointing toward where the HB initially aligned. He gets the ball to the FB as deep as possible, then fakes Belly Keep Pass at the flank. The QB’s eyes snap to the flat defender(s) so that he knows what to expect when we call Belly Keep Pass. The FB is the ballcarrier. He takes a reach step with his left foot to get width, crosses over with his right foot, then squares up with his left foot before gaining any ground upfield. As he takes these steps, he is focusing his eyes on the block of the ST. Where the ST takes the defender determines which way the FB will go with the ball. After finding the hole based on the ST’s block, the FB then eyes the block of the HB to see which way he takes the LB. The FB cuts accordingly.

 

A note on the diagrams: Versus a 44, I have an arrow indicating motion by the OLB, and versus the 52, I have an arrow for the Safety’s motion. The Jet motion is intended to draw those players to the perimeter. If they do flow with the WB’s Jet motion, then Belly should go well. If they do not flow, and instead play up to stop Belly, then you should call Jet Sweep and take advantage of the lack of reaction.

 

 

Specific rules for Belly:

Split Tackle: gap – down – on

Split Guard: gap – pull & kick out

Center: fire – on – backer

Tight Guard: fire – on – backer

Tight Tackle: fire – on – backer

Tight End: backer to cutoff

WB: Motion (Jet/Rocket/Flat)

FB: Ballcarrier; reach step with playside foot, crossover with other foot, square up, receive handoff (Step/Crossover/Step)

HB: Jab step toward the SE, read ST’s block, block 1st LB from the Center

QB: Reverse over the midline toward the HB’s starting position, hand the ball to the FB as deep as possible, attack the flank faking keep pass

SE: Run Belly Keep Pass route (or stalk block the Corner or go to the cutoff; I prefer the KP route, as it will help the QB see the Corner and (possibly) the Safety’s reaction to the route)

**My OL rules come from Tom Herman. My RB/QB rules come from my interpretation of instructions by Gerry Gallagher and Dave McDonald.

 

There are several ways to handle the playside blocking. In some cases, the ST and SG block the man closest (base), in other cases, they both block out on the DT and DE (fan), and with flat motion by the WB, you might have the WB kick the end and both the ST and SG block down. For the sake of simplicity in introducing the play, I’ll just cover the XB.